Piano Lessons in Tulsa | Levels of Classical Piano Songs- Part 2

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I thank you for joining this podcast from Curtis’ Music Academy about piano lesson in Tulsa. Today, I will be speaking part two of classical piano songs by difficulty level. In the last podcast, I shared some personal stories and memories of playing through some of these levels as a piano student myself. And the reason why I put together a list of piano music by difficulty level is because there might be a student that comes in level four and they want something challenging. In that case, I can just leaf through and look at some of these titles and find a really good fit song for them. 

So I believe last time we left off at Level six and I was talking about Valse in E Flat by August Derand, and I believe this song has four or five movements to it. And I was talking about how I played this at a fine arts competition when I took piano lessons in Tulsa. Of course in those competitions you have to have the whole piece memorized. And so I was the first performer of the day and I got up and said, my name is Andrea Lansford. I will be playing false in E flat by August. Derren, I played my song, it went well and I went off to other parts of the competition because fine arts at our school was this huge fun day of choir competitions, handball competitions, art, drama, anything.

So it was just one of my favorite days of the entire year. And so I performed my song after taking piano lessons in Tulsa. Little did I know the girl after me got up and said her name was Andrea as well, and she would also be playing vowels in E flat. So it’s just really hilarious. And I actually never even met her. But I just think it’s an odd coincidence. So that is a really fun Level six song. Another great Level six song is Gymnich Petite one by Eric Satie. That’s one that most people recognize. And it’s a little bit harder than maybe what it sounds like on recordings. But definitely if you’re at a level six, it would be no problem. 

Another couple honorable mentions that I’ve never personally played is two part invention number eight by Bach and two part invention number four by Bach as well. Going on to level seven is the Entertainer by Scott Joplin. I have played a lot of different versions of this piece and you can know, it’s a very well-known title. This is a great one for piano lessons in Tulsa. But in order to play the exact version that Scott Joplin wrote, it is very difficult, very challenging. So I actually never quite mastered it, although I kind of played around with it a little bit. So that’s a fun one. 

I wouldn’t consider it classical at all, but definitely an honorable mention for that one. Another one would be a three part invention. Number three by Bach and Sonata K five three one by Scarlatti. OK, on to level eight. I will just mention all three of these, although I have never played them. The well tempered clavier fugue to by Bach, well tempered Clavier Prelude number three by Bach and Prelude number six by Bach as well. OK, so level nine is Russel’s of Spring by Christian Sinding. I loved doing this song in piano lessons in Tulsa. This song is really epic and I wish for this podcast. 

I could actually do some of what this sounds like. So, Russell, the spring is a great song. It’s not very well known, but it is definitely challenging. I think part of it, if I can remember it, is seven against eight times. And so very complex, difficult key recording is difficult because it’s four finger chords, a lot of runs up and down in the left hand.Very challenging. So funny story about this song is we’ve talked about my eighth grade finance experience. We’ve talked about my ninth grade fine arts experience.

And now no, I’m sorry. We talked about my maybe seventh and eighth where the previous two in the ninth grade was Russel’s of Spring. So I actually did not want to compete in fine arts. I don’t know why, but I didn’t really want to compete that year. And so at the last minute my parents were like, you are going to compete in fine arts. And so little did they know. I took it quite seriously when taking piano lesson in Tulsa. And it was two weeks before the competition. I stayed up until five a.m. most nights I want to say the whole two weeks, but looking back, I don’t know how I did that. 

And I memorized this song in two weeks. And so it was very challenging. I had a little keyboard in my bedroom that I would just play each night and for some reason it wasn’t harder, laborious. I enjoyed it, although I was tired and I played it at the Fine Arts competition. So that is kind of an accomplishment in and of itself, although I don’t think I did as well in the competition as I did the year before with false. So that’s just a fun behind the scenes story when taking piano lessons in Tulsa. Another great song is Etude Opus 10 No. 12, Great, Brilliant Waltz by Chopin and Arabesque Number One. 

All right. If you are taking piano lessons in Tulsa, the final level is level ten is Flight of the Bumblebee, which is the most difficult song I ever memorized and performed. And in tenth grade, I actually did not perform in the fine arts competition. I don’t know how I convinced my parents that I wasn’t going to do it because they were so wanting me to play in ninth grade. But I don’t know why in tenth grade I didn’t. But I still worked on that song and played it for my recital at the end of the year in the spring. So interim Korsakov Flight of the Bumblebee, it literally sounds like a bee is buzzing around your head, the whole song. 

And it’s just crazy movements in the right hand. Mostly sometimes it’s like both hands are playing one note at the same time, very much sounding like an insect. So it is a fun song and very difficult if you are taking piano lessons in Tulsa. So this is for people who are wanting the extra extra challenge. OK, another honorable mention, although that is my one that I have recommended, just because I played it personally is Moonlight Sonata, the third movement. So for those of you thinking that Moonlight Sonata is not that difficult of a song, it actually goes let’s see from a level four in the first movement to a level ten in the third movement. 

So that is an interesting point. So if you’re wanting to take a song to competition, Moonlight Sonata would be a great one if you have the ability to do it while taking piano lessons in Tulsa. Another great level song is the Hungarian Rhapsody, number two by list. And lastly, fantasy impromptu by Chopin. I would have to say another level 10 song would be Clair de Lune by Chopin as well. Another funny story. This one is definitely most recent, but since starting my employment at Curtis’ Music Academy, I actually did not know Clair de Lune. 

I wasn’t familiar with the melody, never played it. I knew it was a song, but it just wasn’t something I ever did. And so working at Curtis Music Academy giving piano lessons in Tulsa and I actually got my hands on an easy, abridged version of Clair de Lune in the KFC. It’s probably a level two but it is very fun and it kind of highlights some of the main themes. And later on, Ron, who is the owner of Curtis Music Academy, learned how to play the very difficult song of Clair de Lune. And so I was constantly hearing bits and pieces of it while I was at the studio or I was teaching or working in the office or things like that. 

So I’m very familiar with it now. It is extremely difficult. That is another one that I am going to add to. The list is Claire de Lune, and it’s a fabulous song, one of people’s favorites. People love to listen to it. They request it, especially when taking piano lessons in Tulsa. And it’s just one of those fun songs too. Watch somebody play, so I have highlighted some songs in all levels, classical songs on the piano, and it’s like, where do you find yourself at? Well, a good place to find yourself out is where your lesson book is. So if you’re playing out of a lesson book, too, you might want to look at a level two or a Level three goal song, a classical song. 

If you’re at a level five, you might want to tip ahead to level six or level seven. You also might want to go backwards. So there’s no harm in that either. It helps with your sight reading when taking piano lessons in Tulsa. It helps with your memorizing skills. So I would also recommend that as well. And for me, I really enjoy playing songs that are easier at the piano because I can kind of let my mind wander and just enjoy playing rather than being so focused and concentrating on all the tricky parts of the song. So whether you go forwards or go backwards, it would be a benefit to you as a musician. So thank you so much for joining us for another podcast. And we will see you next time.